The cream was soft and nice and affirming,
Brown arms and storms fingers kneading my through my curls like fresh bread dough.
And I try to stay as still as possible as my mother, auntie or grandma,
Spin my hay-hair to gold.
I go thru the fires of hot-comb purgatory.
Stay still – BRUSH SMACK – HOLD STILL.
You hold your ears!
Wrap up them up like Christmas presents,
Sleep as still as Jesus in his tomb,
Wake up just as glorious.
Treat the second-degree burns with love and cocoa butter.
Hours of toil to get the curls,
Pinned up in a dress your Nana got on sale,
Get so pretty that even,
Even the white girls dare to get jealous.
Your Mama trades look with the pastor,
Hoping you don’t look too grown for the church as y’all find your seat.
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